How do you sum up your business?

When you’re so involved and passionate about what you do, you can talk about it all day long. Your startup has so many great benefits and features it would take you an hour just to sum it up.

Unfortunately, when you’re pitching your idea to journalists, investors, partners, or potential clients, time isn’t on your side. Research suggests that the average adult attention span is a shockingly short 8 seconds (!). After 8 seconds, our minds start to wander and we become more prone to distraction.

With that in mind, babbling on and on about your idea, or writing long winded, excited emails, is clearly not the best way to pitch…

The Elevator Pitch

The point of the Elevator Pitch is simple. Pitch your idea in the time span of an elevator ride, or around 30 seconds.

The concept of the Elevator Pitch has been around for decades but these days, with so much noise online, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make yourself heard and stand out from the crowd.

Keeping your pitch short and concise is great for getting all the information out before your audience gets distracted, but this isn’t the only benefit…

Designer and serial entrepreneur, Elliot Loh, believes the real beauty of an elevator pitch is how memorable it is…

“Since investments are rarely an individual decision, the usual best outcome for a pitch is that it can be repeated by others, accurately.”

You want everyone you pitch to to remember your idea. Even if it’s not right for that audience, they might want to recommend you to someone else in the future.

The perfect Elevator Pitch

The perfect Elevator Pitch is not a sales pitch, warns Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t, in this article for Inc

“The original idea behind the elevator pitch was to have something that you’d say to a potential customer whom you happen to meet by chance. While the “elevator” scenario is a bit absurd, there’s no question that chance conversations can result in business opportunities…

A real “elevator pitch” presents you and your offering in a casual, socially acceptable manner. That means no sales pitch. Period.”

The Elevator Pitch Template

We’ve put together a simple template to help you with your Elevator Pitch…

For [audience] who [thing audience wants]. [Name of your idea] is a [what is it] that [the main benefit]. Unlike [competitor or similar idea], our product [what sets you apart].

Let’s take a look at a completed Elevator Pitch for our contact management system, Contactzilla

For businesses and organisations who want simple, seamless contact management. Contactzilla is a contact management platform that allows users to create shared address books and sync with their mobile devices. Unlike Google Contacts, our product allows users to share address books with colleagues and set permissions for individual users.

Try filling out the template over and over with different words to find the best pitch for you. Feel free to tweak the format, add in extra information or take information out. Just remember to time yourself and make sure you can say everything in 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Jose Vasquez, founder of Build. Brand. Blast. believes practise is one of the most important elements of the elevator pitch…

“Once you’ve got a finished product, practice until you can say it in your sleep, and here’s another key — do it without sounding like a robot. Your elevator pitch shouldn’t be a rehearsed bit of auto-speech; it should be a seamless part of you, ready for use at any time.”


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